Could I possible be.......

Hello everyone. As I have recently turned 40, my worldly view is changing and I've started to become more inward-thinking, for want of a better term. You see, my Wife's best friend's little boy has recently been diagnosed with Autism and me and him have never really 'clicked' even though a lot of his traits (some of which I'll list below) are ones that I've suffered with all my life. This got me to thinking.........could I be on the autistic scale, as well? After watching the program that was aired about Chris Packham and his life dealing with Asperger's, it raised a few questions, also.   

After many conversations with GPs about feeling different and just being given antidepressants, which do nothing, I've taken a few online tests, but I thought I'd ask on here, before I dare to go back to the doctors again. Many thanks for any help. 

Here's a list of odd personalty traits that I have - was just wondering if there could be anything to them. 

Never get elated about anything
Lose things constantly
Start off understanding a task, then get confused easily.
Awful  rages
Can't handle pressure
Scared of large objects - planes, tractors, lorries, even bridges
Terrible depression - to the point of suicidal thoughts. Noticed my blinking changes as well and devolved a tick when really depressed. The depression can last for days, then just end instantly
Scared of heights
Awful train of thought (people call me magpie at work, due to being easily swayed by 'shiny' things)
Brain fog
Scared of change (same partner and job for 20 years)
Unbearable anxiety - several different meds have done nothing to quell the constant 'ache' in my head and stomach. Always worrying about the smallest things - if I'm driving a car, will I get a puncture etc.

Could happily sit on my own for days on end, with no company. 

Could spend several hours watching a TV, or on a PC. Couldn't stand to be in someone's company for that amount of time, though.  

Self sabotaging behaviour
Able to remember number plates, but can't remember phone numbers
Can't spell any words with several letters that are the same in them. And get the sequence of words wrong all the time.
Scared of intimate objects in the dark (saw a post on here about it - unsure if it's a trait, but at least I'm not the only one!)
Can't stand noise
Noticed people looking over their shoulders all the time when I speak to them, as I Iook pass people
Get fixated on something for a while (song, film, phrase) then get bored in an instant.
Have no brain mouth filter (I'd tell a stranger my darkest problems, and say things that are not for public consumption)
Sweat constantly - have done since a teenager
Self harm (punching, whipping)
Have a gait problem (limp on my LHS - Have had since my teens)
Hold on to things for far too long

Not understating the context of something correctly in conversations or written words etc
Zoning out in conversations, and very poor memory

Talking over people all the time
Compulsive personalty. Food, OTC drugs, gambling
Obsessing over things to the point of madness
Easily distracted in conversations (which no doubt comes across as rude)
Compiler of lists, but never use them (see above!)
Have to be told things several times over, for the penny to drop. Can't follow written instructions well, but can visual. Have a problem with skim reading (was diagnosed at the age of six) retain very little of what I've learnt
My wife has often told me that people don't understand my sense of humour - and she has said it can be very mickey-taking, spiteful, but I don't see it. 
Very analytical
Talk to myself constantly
Make up things in my head that never happened to fuel my rage, or revisit thing over and over
Some days it feels like I'm relearning tasks I should already know
Very, very clumsy
Struggle to get sentences out at times
Can't figure out knots, or tie my shoe laces. Or anything intricate
Grind my teeth in my sleep
Have no real compassion for others - I act interested, but find things like that a hindrance. Not even my Son.

  • Welcome to the forum.

    I make it that you have 47 examples listed there. I was diagnosed with ASD (Asperger Syndrome) a few years ago, and I scored 39 out of the 47!  I imagine that many others of the autistic adults here might well score in the 30s and 40s, too, as there are a lot of items there which are consistent with autism.

    Naturally, none of us here can tell you for sure; many of those traits are common in other conditions (some closely related to autism), and some are likely secondary effects of any condition rather than caused directly (e.g. due to high anxiety levels.) I think, though, that there is enough there that it would be worth pursuing a formal diagnosis. The kind of recurrent depressive episodes that you describe are also extremely common for pre-diagnosis autistic people; so if nothing else, it may lead you to some explanations for the underlying problems which cause them, whether it is autism or not.

    The online tests are a valuable clue too. The clinically validated ones are designed specifically for formal screening based on unprompted patient-reported data. If you take your results to your GP, do stress this; they are not just pop-psychology for Google hypochondriacs; the first stage of a formal assessment often involves filling out exactly the same tests.

    In the mean-time, have a good explore of the forum and don't be afraid to join in; there's a lot to be learned here, and from what you've said so far, I think you're sure to find some people who have some fascinating similarities.

  • Thanks for the brilliant reply, Trog. You've eased my mind a little. Where can I find a 'Clinically validated' online test, to add weight to my case? My GPs aren't the most understanding (and see me as a bit of a whittler) 

    I have also noticed some other traits today - I was wondering if they're all to do with the same 'condition'

    Always need to be doing something with my fingers - blu-tak, phone, pen lid, even an edge of a label on clothing or a tassel etc

    Always picking the wrong tone of voice - come across as sarcastic, angry when not.

    Very impulse, impatient. Decided today that I was going to t-cut the bonnet of my car, as it had a little mark on it - in the middle of a packed supermarket car park! 

    Unable to eat fruit due to texture/feel, but can have synthetic fruit flavours 

    Can have a conversation, but it makes my skin crawl. Constanly second-guessing myself, then get tongue-tied. Very awkward.

    OCD about checking things (doors are locked, taps off etc) 

  • Oops, sorry, I did mean to pop a link in there.

    The two tests recommended by NICE as part of an NHS Adult Autism Assessment (AAA) are these...

    Autism Quotient Test (26 or more for possible ASD)

    Empathy Quotient Test (30 or less for possible ASD)

    And this last one is not formal, but gives a nice easy-to-read chart of the results...

    Aspie Quiz

    I won't say any more about the things you noted yet, as it might bias your test scores, but do pop back and let us know how you get on.

  • Your score was 40 out of a possible 50.

    Scores in the 33-50 range indicate significant Autistic traits (Autism).

    Your score was 27 out of a possible 80.

    Scores of 30 or less indicate a lack of empathy common in people with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 128 of 200
    Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 103 of 200
    You seem to have both neurodiverse and neurotypical traits

  • Sorry for the multiple replies. Just shell-shocked a bit. I wonder if some of the answers were me guessing what would be the right answer etc.  

    Does this explain why I had no compassion for my Wife's friend's Son, who has been recently been diagnosed with autism? Like two similar magnets..... 

    I can't have these problems, I function quite well.............

  • Just shell-shocked a bit.

    Likewise when the mental-health worker first suggested autism to me; and then managed to justify from observations she'd made in only half-an-hour! I'm absolutely convinced that there's something about autism that stops us from being able to see our own autism.

    Just remember this. If it turns out you are autistic, then by definition you always have been. You are discovering new things about yourself; but nothing about you has changed, and nothing has to change unless you choose it to.

    I wonder if some of the answers were me guessing what would be the right answer etc.  

    It's always a possibility, but the tests are designed in such a way to try and reduce this factor. Ultimately, though, that's why they are only screening tests; a properly trained psychologist would be able to eliminate this possibility.

    can't have these problems, I function quite well...

    It depends how you define "function". If you mean things like satisfactory social interactions, holding down a job etc. then it may seem like a paradox. However, those measure only the outcomes of your thinking and behaviour, not how your brain went about achieving them. If an autistic person has sufficient intelligence and observation skills they can devise work-arounds for their autistic deficits, and will have been doing so since infancy. If the outcomes are different, then autism is easily observed, but the difference between intuition and systematic thinking is inside people's heads where it isn't easy to appreciate.

  • So the massive question is .....what now? I'm at a loss as to how to turn this self-diagnosis into something concrete (and also as my gp isn't very understanding ....) Thanks again Grinning

  • My GP isn’t understanding either

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